June 28, 2019
The House and Senate reached a compromise on the budget this week and both chambers moved to pass the conference report. Governor Cooper held a “veto ceremony” this afternoon where he expressed his concerns with the budget. The legislature will now attempt to override the veto, but that depends on Republicans convincing enough Democrats to break ranks and vote with them. During his veto message, Governor Cooper noted that he will be sending a compromise budget to the legislature.
Both chambers continued the sprint towards the end of session, with many bills being dusted off and moved through committee. Lawmakers are anticipated to take a brief recess over the Fourth of July holiday, and then return to work on wrapping up session for the year. Budget negotiations with the Governor could force session to drag on for months if a deal cannot be reached.
The General Assembly passed a $24 billion budget this week, only to have it vetoed by Governor Cooper, who cites that spending priorities are not in line with what he views as best for the State. Teachers would get an on average 2% raise in both years of the budget, and state employees would receive a 2.5% raise in both years as well. Retirees would receive a onetime .5% cost of living adjustment.
Medicaid expansion was not included in the budget, which has been the top priority for Governor Cooper this year. Governor Cooper has also been critical of proposed cuts to the corporate tax rate, which were included in the budget.
The budget sets up a funding mechanism for school construction that will allocate $4.4 billion over the next ten years for the purpose. This is at odds with the Governor’s request for a public school construction bond.
The budget also contains a provision that was in the Senate budget which would move the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) to Granville County.
Several Democrats joined the Republicans in both the House and Senate on the vote to approve the budget, with the Senate voting with the majorities needed to override a veto. The House would need to pick up several more Democrats to override a veto, but House Minority Leader, Representative Darren Jackson, has stated that the Democratic Caucus will remain united and not vote to override the veto.
Budget Conference Report: https://webservices.ncleg.net/ViewBillDocument/2019/5051/0/H966-PCCS30485-LRXR-3
Budget Money Report: https://webservices.ncleg.net/ViewBillDocument/2019/5051/2/H966-BD-NBC-5888
Supreme Court Rules on Partisan Gerrymandering Case
In a 5-4 decision, the United States Supreme Court ruled this week that North Carolina’s congressional maps are legal, striking down a challenge claiming that excessively partisan maps are unconstitutional. North Carolina drew maps several years ago that led to a 10-3 Republican majority for their congressional delegation. In the majority’s ruling, Chief Justice Roberts acknowledged the undemocratic principles of partisan gerrymandering, but concluded that the issue should be decided by Congress or state legislatures. The plaintiffs are now hoping that a similar case in state court will have a different outcome.
Sanctuary City Legislation
The House passed a bill to allow citizens to file lawsuits against cities or counties that have what proponents of the bill call “sanctuary cities”. Bill sponsors claim that they intend for this legislation to prevent localities from having relaxed polices on illegal immigrants. Protestors were out in force to advocate for immigrants and claim that the bill is not needed. Under the bill, plaintiffs will be allowed injunctive relief as well as attorney's fees.
2019 Session Laws
The following 67 bills have become law this session:
- SB 7: Bipartisan Ethics Appointments
- SB 75: Restore Ct. of Appeals Membership
- SB 77: Ag Disaster Fund/Certain Counties
- SB 214: Ensure Orderly 2019 Elections
- SB 12: Fill Certain Vacancies/Alexander & Burke Co.
- SB 56: Revenue Laws Technical Changes
- SB 4: Extend Terms of 2 Members/Coastal Carolina CC
- SB 272: Zoning for University Facilities-Durham
- SB 6: Dare County/CC Construction Funds
- SB 162: Loan Origination/Late Payment Charge Changes
- HB 263: Fill Vacancies/Modify 2018 Appointments
- SB 63: City of Kannapolis/Annexation
- HB 130: Allow Game Nights
- SB 505: Rural Job Retention Act
- SB 605: Highway Storm Recovery Act
- HB 1014: 2020 Census VTD Verification Program
- SB 310: Electric Co-Op Rural Broadband Services
- HB 363: Craft Beer Distribution & Modernization Act
- HB 233: State Auditor/Local Finance Officer Amends
- HB 532: DNCR Add New Trails & Various Changes
- HB 388: Immunizing Pharmacists
- HB 646: ID Approval/Flex Muni One-Stop
- HB 70: Delay NC HealthConnex for Certain Providers
- HB 9: Bessemer City Charter Amendment
- HB 201: Randolph Co. Register of Deeds Tax Cert
- SB 252: Dental Bill of Rights
- SB 138: Even-Yr Municipal Elections/Town of Black Mtn.
- SB 139: Even-Yr. Municipal Elections/Town of Montreat
- HB 336: Extend Suspension of Spencer Mountain
- SB 235: Franklin/Nash Municipalities/Unfit Dwellings
- SB 30 Stanly CC/Contracting Date Extension
- SB 381: Reconstitute/Clarify Boards and Commissions
- HB 301: CIP Revisions/Juvenile Code
- HB 179: Mini-Truck Classification
- HB 131: Repeal Map Act
- HB 82: Railroad Crossings/On-Track Equipment
- SB 648: Support Shellfish Aquaculture
- SB 448: Amend Appt For Compact on Education/Military
- SB 255: State Board Construction Contract Claim
- SB 151: Break or Enter Pharmacy/Increase Penalty
- HB 617: Allow Repeat Referral to Teen Court
- HB 578: Modify Legitimations Provisions
- HB 548: Modify Physical Therapy Definition
- HB 383: Topsail Beach Charter/Board Vacancies
- HB 1016: UNC Boards of Trustees Appointments
- HB 1017: Special Master Wake House Plan
- HB 415: Photos of Juveniles/Show-Ups
- SB 148: Public Records/Release of LEO Recordings
- SB 11: ABC Regulation and Reform
- SB 466: EDPNC Modifications
- HB 57: Create Term for Public Schs. & Codify NCVPS
- HB 389: ABC/Univ Athletic Facility
- HB 531: Tenants at Foreclosure Act Restored
- HB 658: Allow Donations of Unexpired Drugs
- HB 664: myFutureNC/Postsecondary Attainment Goal
- HB 432: Water/Sewer to Contiguous Dwelling Units
- HB 219: NAIC Accreditation Amendments.-AB
- SB 80: China Grove Satellite Annexation
- SB 242: Recreational Land Fee Changes
- SB 227: TP3/Principal Fellows Consolidation
- SB 84: Walkertown Zoning Authorizations
- SB 262: Union/Prohibit Certain Hunting Acts
- SB 674: Surry Co./Mt. Airy/Elkin City/Bd. Ed Partisan
- HB 15: Lexington/Dissolve Utilities Commission
- HB 240: Albemarle/City Labor for Business Ctr
- HB 299: Henderson Cty/Build Community College Bldgs
- HB 6: Burlington Airport/Lease/Contract Authority
More about Nexsen Pruet's North Carolina Public Policy Team
In addition to providing Government Affairs Services, the Nexsen Pruet Public Policy team provides attorneys and clients with a newsletter summarizing the week's activities and conveying the inner workings of the legislative process and state government in Raleigh during the legislative session. Please feel free to pass this along to your clients or other interested parties. If you would like to receive the update in your inbox, please email firstname.lastname@example.org to be added to the list. If you are interested in learning more about how Nexsen Pruet can help you achieve your public policy goals and acquiring legislative representation in North Carolina or South Carolina, please reach out to Sandy Sands at email@example.com or Ross Barnhardt at firstname.lastname@example.org.